Recipe by Dianne Herring
Photography by Brian W. McDonald
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, additional for dusting work surface
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Using an electric mixer at low speed, cream brown sugar and butter until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and molasses, mixing until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, stirring with a spoon or spatula. Remove dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap; place in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Let dough sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes, until pliable. Roll about 1/2 cup of dough at a time onto a floured surface until about 1/8-inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut dough into gingerbread men. Re-roll scraps. Using a spatula, transfer cookies from the floured surface to prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until edges begin to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Turn gingerbread men upside down and decorate with the following ingredients to create reindeer.
Red mini M&M’s, for nose
Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, for eyes
White icing, for eyes, antlers and ears, Wilton Decorator recommended
Black icing, for mouth, Wilton Decorator recommended